I just received your letter and it’s precisely as I intended. Now I have a rough idea about this and that, and when an opportunity arises I can try to find something to add.1
First of all — That beautiful wretch,2
I do NOT have it and is surely very beautiful, and I’d be delighted to have it if possible. Today or tomorrow I’ll send you the Holiday No. 82
which has very beautiful illustrations by Caton Woodville
Together with the following prints.
You have just two or three Frank Holl
s that I lack, but how beautiful the one with the two people in the wagon28
is, and the other one too, and Bereaved29
as well. I know them very well.
The one I’m sending you complements Summoned for active service,30
I believe, since it’s Home again.31
I don’t have the one by Hopkins
that you have, but I have others (Fancy ball32
What greatly interests me is Buckman, In front of the shelter
— if it’s from a magazine from this year, let me know which and I’ll order it. I don’t know what it is, but I know his work and find it splendid — I imagine that his treatment of this subject is extraordinarily beautiful.34
If the boat race by a draughtsman you don’t know is one with, in the foreground, a part of a boat in which there are a lady in black, a lady in white and a dog, then it’s by none other than Paul Renouard
I also have for you a splendid thing by Dagnan
, A bird charmer in the Tuileries Gardens,40
and one by Montbard, Arab beggars
These two were slightly torn, but I’ve restored and mounted them. They’re both very large, and I’m not sending them now because the parcel would be so big if I sent them flat, for they can no longer be folded.
When there’s an opportunity next time you come here, at some point, you could take them with you like last summer.
But since they’re French, you may already have them. In that case, I’ll keep them. They’re both particularly beautiful. Let me know if you don’t have them and I’ll keep them apart for you.
I’ve again given some thought to your scruples about accepting those I sent and, while I respect your feelings, I still believe you shouldn’t see it as a kindness by me but as something natural. For this reason.
I hope you have no objection to my regarding you as a friend, and you in turn will regard me in the same way. And for my part I believe that you’ll agree with me in regarding a friendship as having to be an act above all, not just a feeling.
Consequently, it’s entirely natural that, of my own accord, I reserved a few things for you that I had in duplicate and you didn’t yet have.
You, for your part, in Brussels for example, did me a favour when I was able to make use of your studio when I didn’t yet have one, and so on.42
You write that you have 7
months of Montbard
; if you let me know which I may be able to complete them.43
I see that I also have two beautiful Staniland
which I’m adding, and one by Dollmann
I would have to see the monogram FD46
or whatever it is to see whether I could decipher it from the way it was done. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was F. Dadd
. Next, I can’t decipher the monogram under the Arrival of the coach.47
But I’ve found another sketch from Scotland which also has it, Salmon fishers.48
is extraordinarily clever — I see that more and more — in addition to what you have, Nightly visit,49
I have more large things from Ireland by him,50
which form a series together with others by O’Kelly51
Well, today I paid a visit to the place where the dustmen bring the rubbish &c.54
By Jove, how splendid that was — for Buckman
, for example. Tomorrow I’ll get some interesting objects from the rubbish dump, including broken lamp-posts, to view — or to pose if you like, rusting and twisted — the dustman is going to bring them. It was something out of a fairy tale by Andersen
, that collection of discarded buckets, baskets, kettles, soldiers’ mess-tins, oil-cans, wire, lamp-posts, stovepipes...55
I’ll no doubt dream of it tonight, but above all I’ll work there this winter.
If you ever come to The Hague, I would very much welcome taking you there and to a couple of other spots which, although as humble as could be, are a paradise for an artist.
And now a drawing has been waiting for me for some time and I really must set to work on it.
So you’ll shortly receive some more prints. And if you have any duplicates, you know I would be very pleased to have them.
Adieu — may your work prosper — don’t you think the weather is splendid these days? Really ‘Chill October
How beautiful the mire is, and the withering grass.
With a handshake in thought.
You would find a great deal changed in my studio since last summer — it’s much more roomy and efficient. And I hope the work is none the worse.
3.50 guilders for a volume of the London News is perhaps not exorbitant if it’s an interesting old one with a lot in it, but everything depends on the contents of course.57
Do you remember the soup kitchens in Brussels? Among others, Royer
close to the town hall that winter and I saw the opening, when early in the morning soup was given free to poor folk. I remembered that lately, and this is the drawing I’m working on at the moment.59
I’ve had models from Geest here — a street which in my view strongly resembles rue Haute or rue Blaes in the Walloon quarter of Brussels, for example.60
And then what I’m looking for, of course, is certainly the right types, but much more than that the sentiment of the whole. Whether a free soup place is in Brussels, in London or in The Hague, its character is always rather like what Buckman
certainly has in In front of the shelter
. The figure I sketched in my last letter is, among other things, a model for that.61
What is Wyllie, Funeral of the late Napoleon? 62